A coalition of five Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has passed a vote of confidence on the leadership of Abdulrasheed Bawa of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) urging the Federal government to ignore the call for his sack.
The coalition under the aegis of the Civil Society Alliance for Eradication of Corruption, made their position known at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday.
The CSOs include African Leadership Strategy & Transparency Development Initiative (ALSTDI); Transparency Watch; Civil Society Alliance for Transparency and Development; Northern Nigeria Good Governance Forum and Network of Young Female Leaders of Ecowas Community.
The convener, Nelson Ossaieze of African Leadership Strategy & Transparency Development Initiative noted that, the call for sack and removal of Bawa at this transition period is a wrong idea that will further defeat the already established fight against some political office holders most of whom will no longer enjoy immunity and thus makes investigation easily done.
Ossaieze said, “under same Bawa, the commission has recorded 3,785 convictions and still counting, but to our surprise this was not celebrated by anyone but rather a frivolous call for his removal is what we are seeing.
”His removal now, will further portray us in bad light in the international community as not serious to build strong institution that we need to build to ensure that our looted funds are recovered and plunged back to the treasury.
The group urged the President elect, “not to listen to nay sayers as Bawa will no doubt assist in bringing to book and make to face justice hidden corruption and recovery of loots that the government will need to stabilize with because we can’t be on a borrowing spleen again as a nation”.
For them, the war against corruption, especially under President Buhari has its milestones, prospects and no doubt challenges hence the need to upheld and sustain what is been done by EFCC under Bawa and ensure those accused are called up to clear their names.
“This we must sustain, and in doing that we hereby pass a vote of confidence on Bawa and urge him to carry on with delivery of his mandate and further deepen the anti-graft agency,” the group said.
The coalition further noted that, “the flimsy excuse under which they are calling for his removal, is selective disobedience to court rulings. We all know, the standard rule if such occurs, it’s for the complainant to approach court and charge him for contempt not call for outright removal.
“At times, we also know that under corrupt charges some court rules need to be further tested before obeyed as it can truncate an ongoing investigation.
“Bawa should be allowed to complete the ongoing investigation of some of the political office holders, including that of the ruling party. We are sure these are part of those calling for his removal, which we stand against and advice the outgoing government to ensure that such calls are not listened to but instead make him more focus in delivering his mandate.”